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How to Create a Test Environment for Office 365

Everybody knows that test environments are a very good idea, providing a safe place to try new features or configuration changes to products, develop scripts and tools, or provide training for your staff. Office 365 is no different, but a lot of customers that I talk to don’t maintain a test environment at all. And many of the IT pros that I talk to also don’t have their own person tenant for testing and training.

For traditional on-premises infrastructure the reasons for not running test environments are usually cost-related. Sadly, it is very common for IT teams to not have the resources such as hardware or virtualization capacity to build a separate environment that is a meaningful representation of their production environment. Continue reading → How to Create a Test Environment for Office 365

Deploy Templates in Azure Stack using PowerShell

In this example, you run a script to deploy a virtual machine to Azure Stack Development Kit using a Resource Manager template. Before proceeding, ensure you have configured PowerShell

The VHD used in this example template is WindowsServer-2012-R2-Datacenter.

  1. Go to http://aka.ms/AzureStackGitHub, search for the 101-simple-windows-vm template, and save it to the following location: c:\templates\azuredeploy-101-simple-windows-vm.json.
  2. In PowerShell, run the following deployment script. Replace username and password with your username and password. On subsequent uses, increment the value for the $myNum parameter to prevent overwriting your deployment.
    PowerShellCopy
        # Set Deployment Variables
        $myNum = "001" #Modify this per deployment
        $RGName = "myRG$myNum"
        $myLocation = "local"
    
        # Create Resource Group for Template Deployment
        New-AzureRmResourceGroup -Name $RGName -Location $myLocation
    
        # Deploy Simple IaaS Template
        New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment `
            -Name myDeployment$myNum `
            -ResourceGroupName $RGName `
            -TemplateFile c:\templates\azuredeploy-101-simple-windows-vm.json `
            -NewStorageAccountName mystorage$myNum `
            -DnsNameForPublicIP mydns$myNum `
            -AdminUsername <username> `
            -AdminPassword ("<password>" | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force) `
            -VmName myVM$myNum `
            -WindowsOSVersion 2012-R2-Datacenter
    
  3. Open the Azure Stack portal, click Browse, click Virtual machines, and look for your new virtual machine (myDeployment001).

New Office 365 Security Score Features

Since Microsoft  announced the general availability of Office 365 Secure Score we the community have been giving them a lot of  feedback on how it could be optimized for our needs.  It seems that Microsoft have listened…two requests that came up regularly were that organizations wanted Secure Score to award points in situations where a control was being met by a third party product and the ability to ignore a control because it was not relevant to them. Based on this feedback  these two options are now available.

Continue reading → New Office 365 Security Score Features

Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it’s just Microsoft 365

office-appsMicrosoft is squishing its major biz products into a single solution called – wait for it – Microsoft 365, CEO Satya Nadella announced at Inspire, Redmond’s annual event for businesses that flog its wares.

Office 365, Windows 10, and enterprise mobility and security, will be peddled in two flavours: Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business, Nadella said. The latter, which adds device and licence management from a single location, will be available for preview on August 2.
Continue reading → Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it’s just Microsoft 365

New business apps in Office 365 Business Premium help you run and grow your small business

To make Office 365 more valuable for your small business, we are announcing three new applications coming to Office 365 Business Premium:

  • Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service.
  • Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites.
  • Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast.

We’re also introducing the Office 365 Business center, a central place where you can manage these business apps and get an end-to-end view of your business. In addition, we’re adding MileIQ, the leading mileage tracking app, as an Office 365 Business Premium subscription benefit. These new services—along with the recently added Microsoft Bookings and Outlook Customer Manager—help you win customers and manage your business.

Continue reading → New business apps in Office 365 Business Premium help you run and grow your small business

Policy refresh intervals for Devices managed by Microsoft Intune

Something that comes up alot when deploying InTune services is how long do policies take to update and refresh to devices.

Below is the current intervals that are in place.

screenshot-2017-02-03-11-35-15

So what happens if an administrator were to deploy an app or a policy to a device, when will the device receive a notification about the new policy or app? Immediately after the deployment has taken place, Intune will attempt to notify the device that it should check-in with the Intune service. This process normally takes less than 5 minutes. But if the device would not check in to get the new policy, Intune will attempt to notify the device 3 more times. In the case that the device does not receive any of those notifications, the device will get the new policy on its next scheduled check-in with the Intune service accordingly to the tables above.

New Office 365 Admin Center Reaches General Availability

In a totally unsurprising move, Microsoft is retiring the old-style Office 365 Admin Center from January 31, 2017. The new-style Admin Center soon then be the only option for administrators to manage tenants.

Well, that’s not actually true. As we’ve explored in the past, PowerShell is often needed to solve administrative challenges and get work done. In any case, the new admin console is now the default. That is, until it’s replaced by a new design. Continue reading → New Office 365 Admin Center Reaches General Availability

Exchange Server 2010 to 2013 Migration – Reviewing Offline Address Book Configuration

exchange-logo-isolatedOffline Address Books and their existence when running different versions of Exchange comes up alot. So wanted to post up this great article  that covers off what you need to know.

Before installing your first Exchange 2013 server during a migration project you must first review your offline address book configuration.

The issue, as explained in detail by Exchange MVP Andrew Higginbotham here, and mentioned by Microsoft in the release notes and a subsequent blog post, is that Exchange Server 2013 will create a new default offline address book for the organization.

Any mailbox users who do not have an existing OAB assigned to their mailbox directly, or to the mailbox database that they are located on, will download the entire OAB from the new default OAB that Exchange 2013 creates. In organizations with a large OAB or distributed network environment this is obviously not ideal.
Continue reading → Exchange Server 2010 to 2013 Migration – Reviewing Offline Address Book Configuration

Overview of importing PST files and SharePoint data to Office 365

 

You can use the Office 365 Import service to bulk-import PST files to Exchange Online mailboxes in your Office 365 organization. You can also use the Import service to bulk-import documents and other data from your on-premises organization to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business sites.

How to import data to Office 365

There are two ways that admins can import PST files and SharePoint data to Office 365.

Cloud uploadNetwork upload Upload the data files over the network to a temporary storage location in the Microsoft cloud. Then you use the Office 365 Import service to import the data to mailboxes or sites in your Office 365 organization.
Hard diskDrive shipping Copy the data files to a BitLocker-encrypted hard drive and then physically ship the drive to Microsoft. When Microsoft receives the hard drive, data center personnel upload the data to a temporary storage location in the Microsoft cloud. Then you use the Office 365 Import service to import the data to mailboxes or sites in your Office 365 organization. Drive shipping is a good way to import data to OneDrive for Business sites.

See one of the following topics for the step-by-step instructions for importing PST files or SharePoint data to Office 365.
Continue reading → Overview of importing PST files and SharePoint data to Office 365

Office 365 Ports

Below are the ports required for Office 365

Purpose

Credentials Used

Source

Source Port

Destination

Destination Port

Office 365 Portal and help content

Logged on user

Client computer

Ephemeral Ports

Portal.office.com

Home.office.com

*.office365.com

*.office.com

*.office.net

TCP 80 & 443

Authentication and support services

Logged on user

Client computer

Ephemeral Ports

*.microsoftonline.com

*.microsoft.com

*.live.com

*.windows/net

TCP 80 & 443

CDNs used for portal authentication

Logged on user

Client computer

Ephemeral Ports

*.microsoftonline-p.com

*.microsoftonline-p.net

*.microsoftolineimages.com

*.msecnd.net

TCP 80 & 443

CDNs used for portal authentication

Logged on user

Client computer

Ephemeral Ports

*.msocdn.com

TCP 80 & 443

Default tenant namespace (mail routing)

Logged on user

Client computer

TCP 80,25 & 443

*.onmicrosoft.com

TCP 80,25 & 443

Global DNS LBS

Logged on user

Client computer

TCP 80 & 443

*.glbdns.microsoft.com

TCP 80 & 443

Azure AD (MFA)

Logged on user

Client computer

Ephemeral Ports

*.phonefactor.net

TCP 80 & 443

Certificate Revocation list

Logged on user

Client computer

TCP 80 & 443

TCP 80 & 443

Azure Rights Management

Logged on user

Client computer

Ephemeral Ports

*.aadrm.com

*.azurerms.com

*.cloudapp.net

TCP 80 & 443

DirSync

Machine^ &Service Account

DirSync Server

TCP 80 & 443

*.microsoftonline.com

*.windows.net

+Certificate Revocation List

TCP 80 & 443

Azure AD Connect

Service Account

Azure AD Connect Server

TCP 80 & 443

*.microsoftonline.com

*.windows.net

+Certificate Revocation List

TCP 80 & 443

STS ADFS Proxy Server

None

Client Computer

TCP 443 w/clientTLS

ADFS Proxy

TCP 443 w/clientTLS

ADFS Proxy

None

ADFS Proxy (WAP)

TCP 443

ADFS Proxy

TCP 443